Things have changed a lot in the UK Immigration and all businesses are now at risk of unknowingly breaching Immigration laws. The Home Office can prosecute, fine or even close down a business which is found to contravene its legal obligations.
All businesses must make checks to insure they are not employing illegal migrants. A business should not use people who do not have leave to remain in the UK (ie permission from the Home Office to be here) or who are prohibited from taking up employment here – for paid or unpaid work.
So what are pitfalls that your business could fall into?
- Not aware that some foreign national employees do not have permission to work.
- Not realising they need a sponsorship license to employ foreign workers?
- Not keeping business and employment records as required by the Home Office.
What This Means for Your Business:
If your business is thought to be in breach of UK immigration laws, you could be subject to the following:
- An immigration raid at your business within operating hours
- A fine of up to £20,000 per illegal migrant found to working in your business
- The suspension of your Certificate of Sponsorship to employ migrant workers
- The business owners could be prosecuted for criminal offences.
How can you be sure your business is compliant:
- You should check that all your employees have either a British passport, other evidence of UK citizenship, a biometric residence stamp in their foreign passport or a separate biometric Residence Card. The biometric document should be valid. You should keep a record of the employees prove of immigration status available to be inspected.
- You should have a good understanding of immigration compliance rules so that you do not enable an employee to work illegally beyond the term of their permission to do so.
- If you are uncertain about an employee’s right to work in the UK you should carry out an official check via the Home Office dedicated employer’s help unit.
- If your employee does not have a right to work in the UK under his/her own conditions of residency then obtain a Certificate of Sponsorship to enable you to employ a foreign worker. In this case, you will need to ensure that the worker obtains an appropriate visa to work for your business.
- You must ensure that you are aware of the records that you must keep to be made available to the Home Office upon request.
- You need to identify gaps in record keeping, make sure that existing
employees/contractors are meeting requirements and update procedures to show that appropriate checks are conducted for new employees
- Businesses should undertake measures to check they are meeting legal immigration requirements and that records are legible and accessible.
Home Office often does a pre-application or post-application review of employer’s HR processes and rates the sponsor’s compliance on a three point scale (1 being the best score and 3 the worst).
A sponsor who receives a 1 or near 1 rating in each of these areas will get “A” rating under the PBS. The sponsor will need to maintain the score in each of the given areas to be able to maintain the “A” rating, and a compliance audit by Home Office in future might result in degradation of the rating or complete withdrawal of the sponsor licence.
One of the benefits of “A” rating is that your employee will not have to meet the financial maintenance requirement at the time of making the visa application.
We are here to help:
UK Immigration law is perhaps one of the most complex systems in the world. We set out below the service standards that clients can expect when they use us:
Your case will be dealt with from start to finish by our specialist immigration solicitor who has particular expertise and interest in family and private life cases.
Services we offer:
- Home office compliance
- Right to work checks
- Applications for Certificates of Sponsorship
- Complex immigration matters
- Entry Clearance (outside UK) visa applications
- Challenges to Home Office decision / Appeals
- Workshops on Immigration Compliance
- Audits of personnel files to ensure compliance with law and policy.
- Regular Immigration updates and changes in the law
- Audits of HR systems, procedures and documentation.
- Help with pre-registration preparation, registration and maintaining your sponsorship.
- Preparation for Home Office audit.
- Training HR staff on compliance.
- Representation against Home Office fines.
- Work visas
- Applications for leave to remain in the UK
- Guidance on application requirements and Home Office rules for Tier 1, 2 and Tier 5
- Guidance on Academic, Business and Permitted Paid Engagement visitor rules and restrictions
A focused assessment of the immigration compliance risks facing your business,
Costs depending on the number of employees and contractors.
Request More information
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